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Andrew Sullivan: Catholic Church Wants to 'Control the Sex Lives of Other People

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'The vast majority of Catholics in America support birth control.'

Newsweek columnist Andrew Sullivan, best known for his recent cover story asking "Why are Obama's Critics So Dumb" (and subsequent defenses thereof) has come out with another statement that's sure to stir controversy. Sullivan, who dubs himself a conservative yet frequently identifies with various liberal positions, recently appeared on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews and had some choice words regarding President Obama's recent decision to take on the Catholic church over contraception:

For those who don't want to sit through the whole clip, this is Sullivan's relevant quote:

He decided to back the 98 percent of Catholic women who use birth control and the vast majority of Catholics in America who support birth control and take on the Benedict XVI and John Paul II-appointed bishops, for whom no issue seems to be more important than controlling the sex lives of other people.

Needless to say, more Catholics than just the bishops will have cause to dispute Sullivan's claim that their concern is "controlling the sex lives of other people." Still, Sullivan's words serve a purpose insofar as he and other supporters of the administration are attempting to fight this battle over contraception, rather than over the questions of religious and economic freedom that the White House's mandate poses. And it's a strategy that Washington Post columnist EJ Dionne predicted would work in the same segment.

"If this is a fight about contraception, and not a fight about religious freedom, obviously Obama wins that fight," Dionne says shortly after Sullivan's outburst.

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